“What our research has focused on is whether and how these extracts can help relieve the inflammation that causes the pain.” , She added: “We have found it can dampen the inflammation response.
“It could help reduce some of the symptoms associated with the disease, in terms of inflammation.
“We know it can reduce inflammation in our model system in the laboratory. We’re now trying to get funding to look at how it works and see if we can set up clinical trials.
“In Somalia it is used as a chewing gum so we know that it’s not toxic.”
Dr Ali added: “The search for new drugs to alleviate the symptoms of conditions like inflammatory arthritis and osteoarthritis is a priority area for scientists.
“What our research has managed to achieve is to use innovative chemical extraction techniques to determine the active ingredient in frankincense.
“Having done this we are now able to further characterise the chemical entity and compare its success against other anti-inflammatory drugs used for treating the condition.”
The research comes as a result of a project, funded by the Severnside Alliance for Translational Research (SARTRE), which is a joint project between Cardiff University and the University of Bristol.